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The village of Ballydehob can look forward to a bumper weekend of Irish traditional music as the thirteenth annual Ballydehob Traditional Music Festival returns on next weekend Friday, April 12th – Sunday, April 14th. Headlining this year's festival line-up is one of Ireland's finest traditional groups Goitse'.

Festivities will open on Friday, April 12th with an ecumenical prayer service featuring local traditional musicians in St Brigid's Church at 7.30pm. The festival session trail will kick off in the village from 9.30pm in Rosie's Bar, Irish Whip and Sandboat Bar featuring music from local group Rubicon and a host of guest musicians.

The festival workshops begin at 10am on Saturday morning in Scoil Bhríde with workshops in fiddle, concertina, flute and tin-whistle. This is a great opportunity for musicians of all ages to learn some new tunes and improve their technique. The music workshops cost 10 and space is limited. To book contact Ann at 028/37676. At 2.00pm in the Bank House, acclaimed traditional singer Elle Marie O'Dwyer from Freemount in North Cork will tutor a workshop in traditional singing. No singing experience is necessary to attend this workshop and all singers are welcome. There will be further sessions in the village on Saturday afternoon with Danny Collins leading a Youth Session in Rosie's Bar at 2pm followed by music with Mary Crowley & Friends in the Sandboat Bar from 4pm. A new initiative for this year's festival will be the presentation of the Dylan Camier Perpetual Trophy to the Best Overall Junior Musician of the festival in Rosie's Bar at 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon.

The main highlight of the weekend, the Festival All-Star concert with Goitse' takes place in Ballydehob Hall on Saturday evening starting at 8pm. The popular and multi-award-winning quintet Goitse was forged in the white-hot creative crucible of Limerick's Irish World Academy. Named Live Ireland's "Traditional Group of the Year, Goitse have become a leader of the new generation of traditional Irish ensembles.

The group has released four critically acclaimed recordings and maintains a year round touring schedule that includes performances throughout Ireland and the UK, Germany, France and the United States. Their distinctive sound lies in the quality of their own compositions interspersed with traditional tunes from the countryside of Ireland and abroad, which make each performance unique. Laying the foundations for the music are All-Ireland Bodhrán champion Colm Phelan, and Conal O'Kane, who is fast making a name for himself as one of the finest guitarists of his generation. The gripping rhythm section sets a powerful drive for the music while the sweet, charismatic voice of Áine McGeeney draws audiences into a song the way few performers can. Goitse will joined in Ballydehob by well-known local musician Danny Collins from Rosscarbery.  

Tickets for the concert are 20 for adults and 10 for Under 18s.

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